Permits and Reservations

Research Permits
Please see our web page at for further information

Special Use Permits
All group activities of 25 or more people in Rock Creek must be registered under a special use permit. For more information call our Special Park Uses Ranger at (202) 895-6000 or e-mail us.

Special Use Permits are issued for small wedding ceremonies ONLY and for three different locations in the Park -

  • Old Stone House (garden area only), Montrose Park and Meridian Hill.
  • The fee for a wedding permit is $200.00. The fee is non-refundable.
  • For more information, go to FAQs #23, or contact Special Park Uses Ranger at 202-895-6013 or e-mail us

Picnic Permits

The following picnic groves require reservations for events between May 1rst and October 31rst : 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13 and 24.

Rock Creek Park picnic grove reservations are no longer being accepted by the DC Department of Parks and Recreation. Reservations may be made online at or by phone at 1-877-444-6777 (10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. ET). Reservations are by the half day. A half day is from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (or dark whichever comes first).

Please click here for the picnic regulations.

PLEASE NOTE: Important changes to the picnic grove reservation system. Click here for more information.

Sports Field Permits
Reservation required sports fields are located at: Rock Creek Tennis Center - 16th & Kennedy Streets - 4 sports fields and Fort Reno - 2 sports fields.

Requests for athletic field reservations may be completed online through the DC Department of Park and Recreation Permit Office: . Fees vary.

The DPR permit office is located at 1250 U St., NW, Washington, DC 20009.

  • The office hours are Monday – Friday, 9:00 am-5:00 pm. Closed Saturday and Sunday.
  • Walk-Ins: Customers may drop off permit applications or submit payments any weekday between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. For general concerns, questions, or comments, the office will provide walk-in hours from 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.
  • Customers who wish to discuss any permit issues (Approval, Denial, Pending Request,) or general questions concerning a permit can schedule a meeting or conference call (202) 671-2597 or email: e-mail us.

Special Park Use Permits

  • Permits for first amendment rights demonstrations, special events, or filming within any park area in the National Capitol Region (NCR) are required by 36 CFR to be processed through the NCR Park Programs Division. To obtain an application, contact 202.245.4715 or visit For information on Rock Creek Park areas for these permits, contact the Special Park Uses office at 202-895-6000.
  • Permits for right of way uses, construction, educational programs (not led by a park ranger) or to use or cross park land are obtained from the Environmental Protection Specialist for Rock Creek Park, 202-895-6000.

Picnic Permits Update

October 17, 2014

Dear Park Visitor:

For decades, the National Park Service (NPS) picnic areas in Rock Creek Park and Fort Dupont Park have served as spots where groups have met for celebrations and gatherings. As someone who has enjoyed these sites, we wanted to reach out with information regarding upcoming changes in the reservation system and inform you of our proposal to increase fees. Since 1949, the NPS had an agreement with the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to manage the group picnic area reservations on NPS property at Rock Creek Park and Fort Dupont Park. DPR asked the NPS to assume the management of the reservation process for these NPS sites. March 1, 2014, the
NPS transferred the reservation process to, a convenient website used by many national parks and thousands of park visitors across the country. We worked with DPR to ensure that the transition was a smooth one for all park visitors and Washington Area

The reservation fee for a group picnic area had not changed since the early 1990’s. In 2013, the National Service solicited public engagement and comment regarding the need to bring its fee in line with the price for similar group picnic areas in the Washington Metropolitan Area, and providing options for full-day and half-day rentals. As proposed to the public in 2013, we began phasing in this increase over 3 years starting in the summer of
2014 with an increase to $25/half day. We are now preparing to implement the second phase of the increase January 1, 2015, at $45/half day, followed by the final increase phase in 2016 to $65/half day. The additional revenue will improve the condition of the picnic areas and the level of service provided to visitors.

The National Park Service hosted two opportunities in late 2013 for the public to learn more about the new permitting system and the proposed fee increase. This letter serves as a reminder of the planned implementation of phase two of the proposal in 2015. The National Park Service is
inviting comments during a 21-day public comment period through October 30, 2014, via the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment website: submit written comments to:

Attn: COMMENTS - Group Picnic Area Comments
1900 Anacostia Drive, SE
Washington, DC 20020

If you require additional information, please contact for Fort Dupont, Vicky Gammon at 202-690-5193, and for Rock Creek Park, Rita
Gunther at 202-895-6226. Thank you for your interest and participation in this process.


Tara Morrison
Rock Creek Park

Gopaul Noojibail
National Capital Parks - East

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